TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Four Chinese military planes entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Wednesday (Sept. 10), marking the seventh intrusion this month.
Wednesday morning, two People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shenyang J-16 fighter jets and one Shaanxi Y-8 electronic warfare plane entered the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). This was followed by a Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane in the afternoon, also in the southwest portion of the zone.
In response, Taiwan sent aircraft, issued radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to track the PLAAF planes.
The sorties marked the sixth day in a row Beijing had sent its aircraft into the identification zone. China has been sending a mix of spotter planes, fighter planes, and bombers into the zone so far this month.
Since September of last year, Beijing has stepped up its gray zone tactics by routinely sending aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ, with most occurrences taking place in the southwest corner.
An ADIZ is an area that extends beyond a country’s airspace where air traffic controllers ask incoming aircraft to identify themselves. Gray zone tactics are defined “as an effort or series of efforts beyond steady-state deterrence and assurance that attempts to achieve one’s security objectives without resort to direct and sizable use of force.”
According to MND data, Chinese aircraft were tracked in the ADIZ 14 times in July, 10 times in June, 18 times in May, 22 times in April, 18 times in March, 17 times in February, and 27 times in January. Last year, they were observed 19 times in December, 22 times in November, and 22 times in October.
Flight paths of Chinese planes Wednesday morning. (MND image)
Flight paths of Chinese plane Wednesday afternoon. (MND image)